On Wednesday, I went through the five hinges that would chart the course of the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft:
- Sorting through the quarterbacks (whew, buddy!)
- Who would redshirt Mississippi St. Bulldogs DT Jeffery Simmons (way to go, Tennessee Titans)
- The teams with multiple first-round picks
- Getting wacky after #20
- The Washington Drafters (actually, not bad!)
Well, now we’re into Day 2 with the second and third rounds. Those factors are dead and gone.
Here are the forks in the road teams will navigate that will determine how today is going to go.
Trades are coming
Last year in Rounds 2 and 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft, there were more picks that had changed hands at least once (35) than those that the team that earned them never traded (33).
As of right now, only 18 picks of the 70 of this year’s Day 2 have been traded.
Lining up the offensive line
Three of Mocking the Draft’s Dan Kadar’s top six best players available coming out of Round 1 are offensive linemen: Oklahoma Sooners OT Cody Ford, Florida Gators OT Jawaan Taylor and Kansas State Wildcats OL Dalton Risner.
How they shake out before the Los Angeles Rams at 45 (assuming they do all go before the Rams at 45) will be a huge factor in the early Round 2 proceedings.
The Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams all ended up taking 0 players in the first round of the draft. None of those look like uncompetitive teams in 2019.
Without having stocked their coffers to this point, will anyone feel desperate to assess a particular roster gap? How will they navigate Day 2 coming into the action so late?
The Bears don’t have a single pick until #87. Given how long they have to wait, will they or anyone else feel motivated to move up?
QBs in the breeze
Many thought Missouri Tigers QB Drew Lock would be a first-round prospect. ‘Twas not to be.
Where he and the other prospects that ultimately get taken on Day 2 fall will be of significant consequence whether they land with teams that offer them a chance to battle for a starting job either immediately or mid-season or on teams looking for quality backups.
Falling off a cliff
The top two prospects on Kadar’s best players available are ranked in his top 20 overall. Every year, we see prospects surprisingly fall deep into Day 2. How far will someone like LSU Tigers CB Greedy Williams drop? What about Ole Miss Rebels WR D.K. Metcalf? By the time we get to the end of Round 2, which players that we were certain would be gone in the top 50 are still available?
Those candidates will certainly push the action into Round 3 as teams finish hitting their roster gaps before turning to Day 3 and simply trying to sort through the labor pool for players that can make their 53-man rosters.